14 days -13 nights
Duration
4-17, 18-31 July 2021
Dates

Join us on the pilgrimage of a lifetime. We will travel to Buddhist communities in the far eastern region of Kham and visit the epicenters of Buddhist life in Tibet, including the monasteries of Kandze, Dzogchen and Dege. Discover hidden monasteries, nunneries, and hermitages set against the spectacular backdrop of holy lakes, mountain ranges and the wildly beautiful terrain of the Tibetan plateau.

This unique pilgrimage is led by Tibetan monk and former Chenrezig teacher Geshe Jamyang and Venerable Kartson. They will both lead daily teachings and meditations, offering you the chance to reflect on all that you have discovered on this inspirational journey. The pilgrimage cost also includes a donation of $500, which will be used for building a retreat place for Geshe Jamyang in Dumra, Tibet.

 

TOUR DATES

4-17, 18-31 July 2021

TOUR COST

A$3,950 per person, twin share

A$750 per person, single supplement

DURATION

14 Days, 13 Nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Immerse yourself in monastic life at Kadze and Dzogchen monasteries
  • Admire the Giant Buddha statue in Leshan and explore the old city
  • Visit Dumra, Geshe Jamyang’s village
  • Discover the hidden treasures of Dege Parkhang unique printing press
  • Marvel at the stunning scenery, including high mountain passes and Yilhun Lhatso Lake
  • Take part in daily teachings and meditation practice with Geshe Jamyang & Venerable Kartson

TOUR ROUTE

Chengdu – Leshan – Kangding – Garze – Dumra – Dzogchen Monastery – Dege – Garze – Kangding – Chengdu

Pilgrimage Leaders:

JasheJamyangGeshe Jamyang was born in Dumra village in Eastern Tibet, where his parents still live. He left Tibet when he was 20 years old to study at Sera Jey Monastery where he attained the highest Geshe degree in 2001. He then worked as a teacher in a nunnery in Dharamshala before moving to Australia in 2006 and becoming the resident teacher at Chenrezig for the next 9 years. He moved back to Tibet 3 years ago to be close to his parents.

 

 

Yaki-PlattVenerable Kartson (Yaki Platt) was born in Tel Aviv and previously worked as software engineer for the Israeli Airforce. He moved to India and studied conversational and classical Tibetan for four years before coming to the Chenrezig Institute in Australia as the translator for Geshe Jamyang in 2005. He is now translating for Geshe Tsultrim and is a graduate of the Buddhist Studies Program. In 2014 he was ordained as a monk.

 

Day 1

Arrive at Chengdu International Airport

Welcome to Tibet. We will meet at the airport and transfer to our hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure exploring the local area and soaking up the atmosphere. Our friendly guide and hotel staff will be on hand should you need recommendations or general provisions. In the evening we will enjoy a traditional Tibetan welcome meal.

Overnight: Chengdu

Day 2

Chengdu - Leshan

In the early morning we will head to the Chengdu Panda Breeding Center, where we will see the pandas being fed as well as fighting playfully and climbing trees. We will also be able to see some of the adolescent pandas living in the big open enclosure. In addition to pandas, the centre is also home to several endangered red pandas.

Later in the morning we will head to Leshan, home to the Giant Buddha statue of Maitreya in a sitting posture. During the one-hour journey you can enjoy the idyllic landscape of the Chengdu plains. When we arrive, we will take a scenic walk to explore the Maitreya statue and the temples surrounding it. In 1996 the Buddha Statue was included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.

Leshan is also famous for authentic Sichuan-style dishes and we will get the chance to sample some of this exquisite cuisine in the old quarter of Leshan city.

Overnight: Leshan

Day 3

Leshan – Kangding

Today we will drive to Kangding (approximately 5 hours), the mountain gateway and on the historical border between China and Tibet. It is also the place where Chinese and Tibetan cultures meet and is a melting pot of ethnicities with a mixture of Han Chinese, Tibetans and other ethnic minorities. Enjoy the spectacular views along the way before arriving and settling into our hotel. In the evening we will explore the eclectic local dining scene.

Overnight: Kangding

Day 4

Kangding – Garze Town

We will leave the hotel early in the morning and head to Garze Town – a long drive which will take 8-9 hours. We will officially cross over to the Tibetan plateau, driving over a 4500m high mountain pass. We will arrive by late afternoon and check into our hotel. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.

Overnight: Garze Town

Day 5-7

Garze Town (elevation of 3500 meters)

We will spend the next three days in Garze, a lively market town. We will explore the beautiful countryside, which is scattered with Tibetan villages and large monasteries surrounded by snowcapped mountains. During out stay here we will visit the significant pilgrimage sites of Kandze Monastery, Khangmar monastery as well as two magnificent stupa sites. Photo opportunities abound will abound.

Kandze Monastery (also known as Garze Monastery or Gompa) is an ancient monastery situated high above the town. The monastery is one of the largest in Kham and used to house over 1500 monks.

During our stay we will do the kora or pilgrimage circuit around the monastery – which is almost 8kms long. There is also the option of a shorter kora around the main temple.

Overnight: Garze Town

Day 8

Dumra Village

Today we will head to Geshe Jamyang’s village of Dumra. We will stop to have Tibetan tea and snacks in his quaint village before exploring the area. In the afternoon we will picnic in the meadows high above the village.

Overnight: Garze Town

Day 9-10

Garze – Yilhun Lhatso Lake - Dzogchen Monastery

Today we will leave for Manigango to visit Yilhun Lhatso, a beautiful lake surrounded by snowy mountains and glaciers. We will have a lovely picnic on the bank of the lake before exploring the surrounding area. We will make our way to Dzogchen monastery in the late afternoon.

We will spend the next day exploring Dzogchen Monastery, one of the most significant monasteries of the Nyingma tradition. Dzogchen Monastery was founded by the first Dzogchen Rinpoche, Pema Rigdzin (1625-1697) in 1684. During its peak the monastery was home to five hundred monks, 13 retreat centres and an estimated two hundred and eighty branches. Dzogchen was also one of the most famous centres of sacred lama dancing and ritual ceremonies.

Hidden in a vast meadow called Pema Thang (the lotus plain), we will have the chance to visit Dza Patrul Rinpoche’s cave, where he composed his canonical text ‘The Words of My Perfect Teacher’. We will also take part in chanting, puja ceremonies and watch the monks debate in the courtyards. The day is ours to be immersed in this magnificent monastery, a tribute Tibetan Buddhism in all its glory.

Overnight: Dzogchen Monastery

Day 11

Dzogchen Monastery – Dege

This morning we will drive 4 hours to Dege Monastery. This fascinating monastery was built in 1792 and is home to a printing operation that still uses traditional woodblock printing methods to maintain the vast majority of Tibet’s literary heritage.

The main attraction of the monastery are the pairs of printers working together to ink and press more than 2500 prints each day at lightning speed. Aside from a brief interlude during China’s Cultural Revolution, these printers have been in operation continuously since the founding of the monastery in much the same atmosphere as they work in today.

The wood block engravings include scriptures from all of the Tibetan Buddhist orders, as well as Bön, a religion that predates Buddhism in Tibet. These ancient writings cover astronomy, geography, music, medicine and Buddhist classics, including two of the most important Tibetan sutras.

Overnight: Dege

Day 12

Dege – Garze Town

Today we will leisurely make our way back to Garze. The drive usually takes 2-3 hours, but we will use this opportunity to visit some of the local temples, monasteries and scenic spots that are scattered along the way back to Garze.

Overnight: Garze Town.

Day 13

Garze – Kangding – Chengdu

Today we will drive back to Kangding, where we will prepare to fly back to Chengdu.

Note: if the airport in Garze is fully operational we will fly from Garze to Chengdu.

In the evening we will share a farewell dinner.

Overnight: Chengdu

Day 14

Tour concludes

The tour ends after breakfast. You will be escorted to Chengdu International Airport for your return flight. Thank you for travelling with us, we hope to see you on another pilgrimage soon.

INCLUDES

Fully accompanied by Geshe Jamyang & Ven. Kartson13 nights’ accommodation with complimentary breakfast

Leave accompanied from Brisbane Airport or meet at Chengdu Airport

Domestic flight from either Kangding or Garze to Chengdu

Transportation by bus/cars between locations as per the itinerary, starting and ending in Chengdu

Entrance fees to all sights and monuments as per the itinerary

Welcome and farewell dinners in Chengdu

Local English/Tibetan speaking guide throughout tour

Mediations and teachings throughout pilgrimage

Donation of $500 to construct Dewachen Retreat Centre in Garze

EXCLUDES

Return international airfares

Visas

Lunch and dinner (unless otherwise specified)

Extra activities and transport not stipulated in the itinerary
Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs
Tips

Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description

Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments

Compulsory travel insurance of any kind

Donations

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